The people of the Chagrin Valley showed their generosity earlier this month when they joined together to collect and donate food for the Bainbridge Area Food for Friends pantry. The coronavirus pandemic over the last eight months has changed the lives of everyone in the valley, Ohio, the U.S. and the world.

Many people have had to work from home. Many have lost their jobs. Others have been on the front lines of hospitals caring for the sick. Others have stepped up to take on extra family duties. We have quarantined and delayed or observed important events while keeping a safe distance.

But in a time of need, residents of the valley safely came together for the Drive By Food Drive through 100 streets in Chagrin Falls, South Russell and Bainbridge. About 16 businesses and 30 volunteers were involved. Drivers cruised through the neighborhoods and walkers pick up bags of goods at the ends of driveways and loaded them into the vehicles.

The Chagrin Valley Chamber of Commerce, which sponsored the event, delivered $3,000 in monetary donations and 8,543 pounds of food, leaving the shelves at the pantry overflowing, according to chamber Executive Director Molly Gebler.

This year, more families are finding they need help and are turning to the pantry that has served this area for more than three decades.

Bainbridge Area Food for Friends is the chamber’s Nonprofit of the Year, and the community has stepped up to support it. The pantry serves residents in Auburn, Aurora, Bainbridge, Chagrin Falls, Newbury, Russell, South Russell and Troy.

The generosity of the people of the Chagrin Valley is heartwarming in a time when we all could use a bit of inspiration.

Thanks, Chagrin Valley.

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